Cafe Waka-Waka

クレープ kureh-pu: crepe (crêpe)

So I fully realize that crepes are, in fact, originally a French food. However, crepes are wildly popular as a street food in Japan (especially among ladies) and somehow, Japan has adopted them and given them their own style. Japanese crepes are quite different than crepes I have eaten elsewhere so they might surprise you; they use almost no butter (if any) and the fillings are not cooked (just rolled and stuffed in). When it is served, it generally looks like an ice cream cone.

The weather is starting to turn nice recently and work is still quiet since school is not back into full swing yet, so I took the opportunity to sneak out and get an afternoon snack.

I went to a little known place called Cafe Waka-waka located in a back neighborhood of Nishihara town. There are only 2-3 cramped parking spaces, but luckily I was able to park.

On the outside it doesn’t look like much, but when you enter… it is quite a cute and trendy cafe. It was quiet, with only 1 other group of girls eating there. At the counter, I ordered a crepe (it was called mango “cheese”), paid, and waited at one of the tables for a few minutes until it came out. The menu consisted of sweet crepes, savory crepes, and cafe drinks… it is even sort of a little in “English,” though some of it might not make much sense unless you can read the katakana below it, or are a really experienced Engrish-reader.

It was really good, packed full with vanilla ice cream, mango chunks and sauce, sweet cream cheese (but not like the kind you spread on bagels, instead more like rare cheesecake), and cinnamon sprinkled on top. The price was 470yen, which ordinarily is near my limit of how much I like to spend on dessert snacks, but compared to places in the mall which charge over 500yen for crepes, I thought this was a very good deal and I left satisfied. So if you are near Nishihara town and craving a Japanese-style crepe, I recommend checking out this local cafe.


Cafe Soy Labo: カフェソイラボ

So for lunch I took a small adventure: a drive down the road in Nishihara, not so far from Shuri area to a small cafe called Soy Labo. This place is heavily geared towards mothers and children (I am child-free, so not really my scene per se). That being said, the menu is focuses on tofu and soy products, so as an ardent lover of tofu, this is a must-try!

I took a wrong turn, but ended up there okay (just gotta pay attention to your GPS). It is not very obvious from the main road that this place exists until you make the turn into it. It is a very cute place, I really loved the decor. For moms/kids, there is a play area, baby room, cribs, a room with low tables and floor seating. For everyone else, there are a few tables and a counter. The atmosphere was very comfortably (maybe a bit feminine). The menu is in Japanese… but there are some pictures so it is not so difficult for non-speakers I think. Everything was so delicious, I look forward to returning. Even though this place specializes in soy products, it is not necessarily vegan or vegetarian (although there seemed be options).

address: 沖縄県中頭郡西原町池田86-1

Book Cafe: ブックカフェ

Confession: I really love Asian cafes. They are often so cute, relaxing, and clean. Depending on the type of cafe, sometimes the prices can be a little high, but the ambience is so good.

One of my favorites is a small, hidden book cafe. The name is “Bookish” and it is located in Nishihara, near to the university. It is off a back road, off another back road, and up a hill. Parking is on the first level, and take the stairs up to the second level. Through the set of doors you enter into something that looks like a cross between a library and a quiet restaurant. I often choose the seats at the  window bar, overlooking the valley to the Nakagusuku Bay. The menu is pretty simple, some sandwiches, a pasta, pizza toast, fancy coffees and teas, and of course, desserts. The menu is in Japanese (but katakana mostly because they are westernized foods) and no pictures, so I suppose many English speakers might shy away; but with a little patience, it is not too difficult to order, just practice reading katakana. I enjoy getting a vegetable bagel sandwich (it has delicious ume 梅 pickles on it) with a soy chai latte and just clearing my mind of the days busyness.

address: 沖縄県西原町字棚原83-1